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Caveat Emperor
01-23-2012, 05:58 PM
After much hype for GM's first "Plug In" hybrid electric car, the grand sales total for year 1?

7,671 cars.

Dealers in many parts of the country are refusing delivery of additional Volts due to low customer demand, and GM is now revising future sales figures significantly downward.

http://jalopnik.com/5878376/gm-dealers-say-no-to-more-chevy-volts

I feel like there just isn't a market for Plug-In vehicles in America. I also think it probably hurts a lot that the people MOST likely to buy electric vehicles (young, urban-dwelling professionals) are probably the people least likely to own a residence that has a garage or spot where the vehicle can be charged daily.

Either way, major dud for GM (who has invested a non-insignificant amount of money getting this project out the door).

dougdirt
01-23-2012, 06:19 PM
Electric cars are good ideas, but at this point, simply won't work on a large scale for the reasons you mentioned.

KronoRed
01-23-2012, 06:45 PM
I think its biggest problem isn't that it needs to plug in, it's that it costs $15k more then a Prius.

hebroncougar
01-23-2012, 09:20 PM
Heck, I'd buy one, but the price is outrageous.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk

Spazzrico
01-23-2012, 10:47 PM
They absolutely can work on a large scale & in fact are the only way the U.S. will ever switch over to electric vehicles. For U.S. drivers the big issue is range & due to the stupid way we've built our cities, this makes sense. The Volt and whatever the Prius plug-in will eventually be take care of this issue.

I think CE is on to something with the garage issue, but it isn't only space, it is also the fact that any 'ol socket won't do or it takes forever to charge. So you need to install a 220 Volt outlet to get it done with speed and that is added cost.

I agree that it ultimately comes down to price & institutional memory. It is too expensive and people are too timid to try something completely new. I mean there really aren't that many that can afford the damn thing, limiting the potential pool.

That said, plug-ins make too much sense not to eventually find their market here.

Dom Heffner
01-23-2012, 10:50 PM
I think its biggest problem isn't that it needs to plug in, it's that it costs $15k more then a Prius.

Yep. Why would I throw the savings on gas right back into the car?

If it saves money, make it save money.

dougdirt
01-24-2012, 12:43 AM
They absolutely can work on a large scale & in fact are the only way the U.S. will ever switch over to electric vehicles. For U.S. drivers the big issue is range & due to the stupid way we've built our cities, this makes sense. The Volt and whatever the Prius plug-in will eventually be take care of this issue.

I think CE is on to something with the garage issue, but it isn't only space, it is also the fact that any 'ol socket won't do or it takes forever to charge. So you need to install a 220 Volt outlet to get it done with speed and that is added cost.

I agree that it ultimately comes down to price & institutional memory. It is too expensive and people are too timid to try something completely new. I mean there really aren't that many that can afford the damn thing, limiting the potential pool.

That said, plug-ins make too much sense not to eventually find their market here.

I did say that for now, they won't work on the large scale. And they won't because I can't drive to Dayton and back from Cincinnati with one.

RedsManRick
01-24-2012, 12:56 AM
15-20 years from now, I think we'll all be driving electric. It makes too much sense not to. But it's not going to happen on a large until gasoline becomes prohibitively expensive. And when that happens, battery life and charging technology will hopefully have advanced far enough to make the range issue a non-issue.

dougdirt
01-24-2012, 01:25 AM
There are several other issues keeping us from getting only electric cars anytime soon:

People like me who travel long distances, but don't fly. Electric cars aren't going to be making 10+ hour drives anytime soon.

Sports cars. The technology simply isn't there to make it feasible to match the power of a gas powered car for anything close to an acceptable price.

Slyder
01-24-2012, 02:11 AM
Most of the electric cars are meant for big city people who never go anywhere, one of those things lack the real power to even make the commute over an average West Virginia hill. They will never hit a lot of this country because of the terrain. Anyone know how much GM got from the government for producing this, I would like to see a per car estimated value just to see the kind of bang for the buck.

RBA
01-24-2012, 02:26 AM
Most of the electric cars are meant for big city people who never go anywhere, one of those things lack the real power to even make the commute over an average West Virginia hill. They will never hit a lot of this country because of the terrain. Anyone know how much GM got from the government for producing this, I would like to see a per car estimated value just to see the kind of bang for the buck.


Electric cars have good torque and will climb hills but the trade for this is a greater drain on the battery meaning you will need to recharge sooner.
http://www.electriccarsite.co.uk/pros-and-cons-electric-cars

dougdirt
01-24-2012, 03:10 AM
Anyone know how much GM got from the government for producing this, I would like to see a per car estimated value just to see the kind of bang for the buck.
http://jalopnik.com/5870507/report-every-chevy-volt-has-over-250000-in-government-subsidies

Article from the same place. Gets into some of the numbers.

GAC
01-24-2012, 04:51 AM
http://jalopnik.com/5870507/report-every-chevy-volt-has-over-250000-in-government-subsidies

Article from the same place. Gets into some of the numbers.


The total amount of state and federal subsidies for each Chevy Volt sold is as much as $256,824 per vehicle according to a fiscal analysis by Michigan's Mackinac Center for Public Policy. All for a car that only costs $39,828.

Sounds about right. Ya gotta love government.

And there is talk going on - even the UAW is inquiring to know - that GM may move production to China. We'll see on that.

If I can afford to spend $40,000 on a car, it sure isn't going to be on a Volt. I'm going Acura baby! :D

RedFanAlways1966
01-24-2012, 07:17 AM
Give me power baby. Unless technology goes somewhere it is not at today.

Yard tools... gas or electric? All gas at my house. Power. Gas gives the power to get the job done right. Gas allows me to not plug-in. Sure I have to occasionally fill-up, but I'll take that 1 minute over "oh crap, I forgot to plug-in after my last use now I cannot work in the yard". Which leads to another point... oh crap, I forgot to plug-in my car. Now I have to use a vacation day b/c I cannot get to work (or I can get there, but I'll never have the juice to make it back home). No thanks.

Hopefully technology will take it to the next (more usable) level. Technology has done it for many other things. However... will the gov't (and the jobs that gasoline allows) allow it to happen?

bucksfan2
01-24-2012, 08:17 AM
Has anyone ever come out and laid out the actual cost of the Volt? It takes money in order to charge the Volt. It may not be gasoline expesnive but that is an added cost that I have yet to see mentioned.

Roy Tucker
01-24-2012, 08:24 AM
Sounds about right. Ya gotta love government.

And there is talk going on - even the UAW is inquiring to know - that GM may move production to China. We'll see on that.



About jobs in China, a very daunting article fromt the NY Times... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html

About the Volt, the cost is very high for the amount of usability you get from it. And also the fact I don't buy a V1.0 of anything. Let it be out for a year and shake the bugs out.

I don't have a problem with the US gov't spending the money for development. The technology has come a long long way. But I do have a really big problem with that investment getting shipped to jobs overseas.

Caveman Techie
01-24-2012, 11:00 AM
I keep seeing alot of "Range is a factor" arguments against the Volt, but I thought it had a gas powered generator that would kick on and recharge the batteries so that range was not a problem for it.

That said though, the price point was way too high, if your target demographic is the people wanting to save money on gas, you can't put the price of entry at 30K+ for the base model and 40K for the decently equipped one.

Sea Ray
01-24-2012, 11:14 AM
If this is a hybrid car why can't it be driven long distances?

Spazzrico
01-24-2012, 11:15 AM
I did say that for now, they won't work on the large scale. And they won't because I can't drive to Dayton and back from Cincinnati with one.

You can, just one half (or a bit more) of the trip would be running as a gas hybrid. That's why I think plug-ins are the only way to get U.S. drivers using electric. With the longer distances we are accustomed too, we can't rely on batteries alone. It's the big reason I don't see the Leaf being able to grab market share until the infrastructure is built out, whereas a cheaper version of the volt or a the prius hybrid plug-in could.

Spazzrico
01-24-2012, 11:17 AM
Has anyone ever come out and laid out the actual cost of the Volt? It takes money in order to charge the Volt. It may not be gasoline expesnive but that is an added cost that I have yet to see mentioned.

It does raise your bill. the added electricity is significantly cheaper than fuel. The numbers that GM quotes come out to about $0.50 a gallon. Even if they are off 25% that is still huge savings.

Spazzrico
01-24-2012, 11:18 AM
If this is a hybrid car why can't it be driven long distances?

It can, people are misinformed. It is only fully-electric until the full charge runs out and then turns into a hybrid.

Spazzrico
01-24-2012, 11:23 AM
I also want to throw out why plug-ins are especially important in areas that are using nuclear power for generation (like many parts of SC). Nuclear stations can't ramp down their output overnight when demand is low like coal plants. The energy that is created is effectively wasted. With plug-ins/electrics charging at night, you end up taking advantage of power that is already being generated and wasted and remove the fossil fuel use from the equation. This is a huge net positive for the whole system. I would love to see nuclear plant running utilities offer some purchasing incentives for electrics since they would be able to get more users and still come out ahead later.

Caveat Emperor
01-24-2012, 02:34 PM
About jobs in China, a very daunting article fromt the NY Times... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html

I saw that NY Times article on twitter. I think it's almost separate thread worthy.

ETA: New thread on the political side, since I expect any discussion on jobs is going to get somewhat political: http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93672

Sea Ray
01-24-2012, 03:18 PM
It can, people are misinformed. It is only fully-electric until the full charge runs out and then turns into a hybrid.

That helps. I thank you immensely for that clarification...:) :thumbup:

paintmered
01-24-2012, 10:32 PM
Has anyone ever come out and laid out the actual cost of the Volt? It takes money in order to charge the Volt. It may not be gasoline expesnive but that is an added cost that I have yet to see mentioned.

According to the Volt website, it costs around $1.50 in electricity to fully charge the batteries.

I think the Volt is a remarkable achievement. The GM claim from the beginning was to build and bring to market a car that achieves upwards 40 miles on electricity but without any of the range anxiety issues of an electric-only. They did, and they were the first to do it. According to the reviews, the car itself is well executed.

One area where GM has miserably failed is in the marketing of the vehicle. People simply don't know how it works. Joe Shmoe sees the Volt as a $40,000 car that only goes 40 miles while the Nissan Leaf is $25,000 and goes 80 miles. To a driver, the Volt acts like a Prius plug-in but things are very different under the hood. Only in very limited instances is the gas motor actually driving the vehicle (e.g., steep inclines and rapid accelerations). The other 99% of the time, the gas motor is a generator to keep the batteries charged while the electric motor makes the car move. So the Volt keeps going when the batteries are drained like any other car would. The Nissan Leaf driver has to call a tow truck or a buddy.

Regarding the lack of sales, GM did a very limited role-out of the vehicle. So there weren't many vehicles to sell. They do this because of the technological risky nature of the vehicle. If something were to malfunction with the car, it's much easier to recall and fix 8,000 cars instead of 100,000. The underlying technology will mature as it's sold worldwide, and the cost of the vehicle will reduce while the electric range will increase. Additionally, GM didn't really need the vehicle to sell extremely well for the Volt to be a success. It's a halo vehicle. It draws people into the showroom, people who wouldn't otherwise pay a visit. This drives sales for cars like the Cruze and Sonic.

In short, the sales are disappointing but it's too soon to declare the vehicle a bust. There's a bit more to it than that.

AtomicDumpling
01-25-2012, 05:26 AM
The people with enough money to pay that much for a car are unlikely to be interested in a Chevrolet. The Volt costs much more than a Prius and the value is not worth the extra cash. It will take a company like Tesla to really get the battery-operated car market rolling. It won't happen quickly and it won't happen soon, but it will happen.

RBA
01-25-2012, 08:45 AM
I read where the government labs at Livermore are having a breakthrough with battery technology that will revolutionize the industry. Let's hope America still has it.

kpresidente
01-28-2012, 05:23 PM
Give me power baby. Unless technology goes somewhere it is not at today.


I test drove a Leaf. Pickup was incredible. 0-60 faster than any comparable compact car I've ridden in. Gotta remember, you're getting full torque the instant you press the peddle.

kpresidente
01-28-2012, 05:25 PM
I read where the government labs at Livermore are having a breakthrough with battery technology that will revolutionize the industry. Let's hope America still has it.

Yeah, I read a story like that every week.

MikeThierry
01-28-2012, 05:42 PM
Is the future really electric? It seems like the technology is limiting. I don't think America will catch onto a plug and drive system. It's going to take something like hydrogen or a substance that hasn't been invented yet for the auto industry to take that next step, in my opinion.

GAC
01-29-2012, 04:30 AM
Is the future really electric? It seems like the technology is limiting. I don't think America will catch onto a plug and drive system. It's going to take something like hydrogen or a substance that hasn't been invented yet for the auto industry to take that next step, in my opinion.

dilithium crystals :D

reds1869
01-29-2012, 08:30 AM
My issue with plug-in cars has already been mentioned: I park my car in a parking garage. There is nowhere for me to plug in so a plug-in car doesn't make since for me or any of the other 300 families in my apartment building.

JaxRed
01-29-2012, 03:14 PM
There is however, a significant portion (25-35%?) of the population for which an electric car makes sense today. People that live in a house or some place where they have access to electrical power and are a 2 car family.

I have owned a REAL electric car for 45 days now. The Leaf. It's a commuter car. Go to work, drive home, plug it in. Rinse lather repeat.

If we have to go long distances or take a second long trip during that day we take the gasoline car. I'm up to 1500 gasoline free miles so far.

Yes the price needs to get better. I never would have bought one without the tax rebate. $7500. But I plan to drive this thing forever, and will drive it whenever feasible. I figure every time I drive it over the gas car I am saving money.

Joseph
01-29-2012, 03:31 PM
I don't want an electric car. I like the hum of gas powered engines. Only way I go electric is if gas goes over 6$ a gallon before I'm 60. Then maybe I consider it.

reds1869
01-29-2012, 04:42 PM
I don't want an electric car. I like the hum of gas powered engines. Only way I go electric is if gas goes over 6$ a gallon before I'm 60. Then maybe I consider it.

If I remember correctly the two of us are close together in age and I sincerely believe we won't have the option of gas powered cars (at least not new ones) by the time we are 60.

Sea Ray
01-30-2012, 05:43 PM
There is however, a significant portion (25-35%?) of the population for which an electric car makes sense today. People that live in a house or some place where they have access to electrical power and are a 2 car family.

I have owned a REAL electric car for 45 days now. The Leaf. It's a commuter car. Go to work, drive home, plug it in. Rinse lather repeat.

If we have to go long distances or take a second long trip during that day we take the gasoline car. I'm up to 1500 gasoline free miles so far.

Yes the price needs to get better. I never would have bought one without the tax rebate. $7500. But I plan to drive this thing forever, and will drive it whenever feasible. I figure every time I drive it over the gas car I am saving money.

How many batteries will you go through during "forever"? How much do they cost?

JaxRed
01-30-2012, 09:46 PM
Not sure. We also have a Prius so I follow the technology. Although they are a different chemistry, they are still going strong even on the oldest models.

Spazzrico
01-30-2012, 10:37 PM
Not sure. We also have a Prius so I follow the technology. Although they are a different chemistry, they are still going strong even on the oldest models.

To build on Sea Ray's comment, what sort of warranty came with the Leaf? As a general rule I don't like to buy first generation of anything and let the bugs get worked out with the early adopters. Being so new, I'm wondering if the terms were different from a conventional Nissan.

Also to add a point of savings......maintenance. No oil changes or radiators to flush and fill or break. No leaking gaskets.

And how does it drive? & Does it really get 100 miles?

JaxRed
01-31-2012, 12:03 AM
Warranty - "Every US specification Nissan LEAF™ is backed by a New Vehicle Limited Warranty providing: 36-month/36,000-mile basic coverage; 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain and electric vehicle system coverage; and 96 months/100,000 miles Lithium-Ion Battery coverage."

A lot of people getting the Leaf are leasing. I leased once and vowed to never do it again. In addition, I plan to drive the ever loving snot out of this thing, and that doesn't sit well in a lease.

There will be WAY less maintenance. Electric motors are way more dependable. No oil changes, no air filters, no transmission fluid flushes, no pollution controls. it goes on and on.

I personally think it drives like a dream, and has super quick acceleration.

You really get 70-75 miles in "normal" driving. If all your trip was 55 and less you'd get 90 or so. But work for me is about 22 miles away, so no problem whatsoever.

durl
02-03-2012, 01:25 PM
I never would have bought one without the tax rebate. $7500.

You're welcome. ;)

Just be prepared for an electric car tax. States won't be happy with you driving on the roads without paying gas taxes to help maintain them. :D

JaxRed
02-03-2012, 04:43 PM
I do realize that is coming. And it needs to eventually. I sure don't like the GPS options. I'd rather see a "report your mileage" option.

MikeThierry
02-03-2012, 06:22 PM
dilithium crystals :D

On could only hope :D

Yachtzee
02-05-2012, 03:06 PM
I think price point is the main issue. If I'm paying $40k for a car, I'm looking for size or performance. For fuel economy, I'm looking for a car is affordable. If the Chevy Volt could be had for less than $20k, more people would buy it. As it is, if I could afford a new car, I'd probably go for a Volkswagen turbo diesel.

Chevy had a car that was affordable and got 50 mpg, the Sprint. I had one. Great for a college kid trying to save a few bucks.

paintmered
02-05-2012, 03:11 PM
I think price point is the main issue. If I'm paying $40k for a car, I'm looking for size or performance. For fuel economy, I'm looking for a car is affordable. If the Chevy Volt could be had for less than $20k, more people would buy it. As it is, if I could afford a new car, I'd probably go for a Volkswagen turbo diesel.

Chevy had a car that was affordable and got 50 mpg, the Sprint. I had one. Great for a college kid trying to save a few bucks.

So the Volt has to be priced $5K under a TDI?

Yachtzee
02-05-2012, 03:25 PM
So the Volt has to be priced $5K under a TDI?

Yes. I can go on road trips in a TDI without worrying about where to plug in if I need to stay at a hotel. If I'm buying a car that has limits on how I use it compared to another car, it needs to come in at a lower price. In my mind, inconvenience plays a role in the cost as well.

Spazzrico
02-05-2012, 10:23 PM
Yes. I can go on road trips in a TDI without worrying about where to plug in if I need to stay at a hotel. If I'm buying a car that has limits on how I use it compared to another car, it needs to come in at a lower price. In my mind, inconvenience plays a role in the cost as well.

I hate to quit restating this, but you wouldn't have to worry about that. The Volt runs on gas when the initial charge runs out. It is fully electric until then, then it becomes a hybrid. I'm starting to think this is the biggest problem with the Volt. They need a full on media blitz to get it through the thick-skulled American mind that it can be driven anywhere like any other car without fear of becoming stranded.

To your larger point, more people would indeed begin driving these things in mass when the price point in cost per mile driven drops below many traditional fueled economy models.

paintmered
02-05-2012, 11:14 PM
Yes. I can go on road trips in a TDI without worrying about where to plug in if I need to stay at a hotel. If I'm buying a car that has limits on how I use it compared to another car, it needs to come in at a lower price. In my mind, inconvenience plays a role in the cost as well.

Thanks for proving my earlier point that GM has failed to educate the general public how the Volt works.

Slyder
02-06-2012, 12:19 AM
You're welcome. ;)

Just be prepared for an electric car tax. States won't be happy with you driving on the roads without paying gas taxes to help maintain them. :D

Or the fact the state is likely to have to pay for the upkeep of the plugs to charge them.

Yachtzee
02-06-2012, 01:21 AM
I hate to quit restating this, but you wouldn't have to worry about that. The Volt runs on gas when the initial charge runs out. It is fully electric until then, then it becomes a hybrid. I'm starting to think this is the biggest problem with the Volt. They need a full on media blitz to get it through the thick-skulled American mind that it can be driven anywhere like any other car without fear of becoming stranded.

To your larger point, more people would indeed begin driving these things in mass when the price point in cost per mile driven drops below many traditional fueled economy models.

I understand what you're saying, but if I'm not plugging it in to get a full charge, I'm not getting the promised savings and I'm therefore left with a really expensive Prius, which aren't cheap to begin with. With my driving needs, I'm likely to be driving it in regular hybrid mode more often than not. I could get a Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI and fit the whole family into a car that has good performance and good fuel economy for much less than a Volt. And of course I like cars I know I can get 200k miles and 10 years out of, and VW's been making TDIs for years, so its proven technology. If you want me to be an early adopter on the Volt, Chevy, you're going to have to make sure I can afford it and give me a warranty that tells me you'll fix anything at least until I pay off the car.

GM's problem is that any time they make something cool, they price it out so that only aging baby boomers can buy it. Their entry level and midsize cars generally tend to be boring, at least since they got rid of Pontiac, where you could get a G6 GT without breaking the bank. Meanwhile, people my age and younger are looking to Asian and European manufacturers for affordable cars that get good mileage while still giving good performance.

Spazzrico
02-06-2012, 11:45 AM
I understand what you're saying, but if I'm not plugging it in to get a full charge, I'm not getting the promised savings and I'm therefore left with a really expensive Prius, which aren't cheap to begin with. With my driving needs, I'm likely to be driving it in regular hybrid mode more often than not. I could get a Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI and fit the whole family into a car that has good performance and good fuel economy for much less than a Volt. And of course I like cars I know I can get 200k miles and 10 years out of, and VW's been making TDIs for years, so its proven technology. If you want me to be an early adopter on the Volt, Chevy, you're going to have to make sure I can afford it and give me a warranty that tells me you'll fix anything at least until I pay off the car.

GM's problem is that any time they make something cool, they price it out so that only aging baby boomers can buy it. Their entry level and midsize cars generally tend to be boring, at least since they got rid of Pontiac, where you could get a G6 GT without breaking the bank. Meanwhile, people my age and younger are looking to Asian and European manufacturers for affordable cars that get good mileage while still giving good performance.

Pretty much agreed. It's a work in progress & until gas prices really skyrocket or costs with new generations come down it will remain so. Here's just some cost per mile info (http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2011/12/leaf-volt-tests-show-electric-cars-cost-less-per-mile-to-operate.html) to add to the fire....

JaxRed
02-06-2012, 05:48 PM
Or the fact the state is likely to have to pay for the upkeep of the plugs to charge them.

Why would states pay for the upkeep of plugs? I don't even know what "upkeep for plugs" means....

The Leaf is pretty much a commuter car. The plug is in my garage. 1875 gas free miles now.

paintmered
02-06-2012, 10:10 PM
I understand what you're saying, but if I'm not plugging it in to get a full charge, I'm not getting the promised savings and I'm therefore left with a really expensive Prius, which aren't cheap to begin with. With my driving needs, I'm likely to be driving it in regular hybrid mode more often than not. I could get a Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI and fit the whole family into a car that has good performance and good fuel economy for much less than a Volt. And of course I like cars I know I can get 200k miles and 10 years out of, and VW's been making TDIs for years, so its proven technology. If you want me to be an early adopter on the Volt, Chevy, you're going to have to make sure I can afford it and give me a warranty that tells me you'll fix anything at least until I pay off the car.

GM's problem is that any time they make something cool, they price it out so that only aging baby boomers can buy it. Their entry level and midsize cars generally tend to be boring, at least since they got rid of Pontiac, where you could get a G6 GT without breaking the bank. Meanwhile, people my age and younger are looking to Asian and European manufacturers for affordable cars that get good mileage while still giving good performance.

There's a difference in saying that the Volt doesn't meet your needs as saying that it's not as worthwhile of a car as a TDI, even at the same price point. Perhaps your daily commute is considerably longer than 20 miles. The majority of commuting Americans do live within 20 miles, and the Volt is potentially a much better fit for their lifestyle.

Your second point about reliability and early adoption is true. There is more inherent risk with any technology that is not fully matured. And for that reason, a TDI may be the better choice today. But it's not necessarily correct to assume that a VW will be inherently more reliable than a Chevy, at least according to JD Power. And to Chevy's credit, they have a 10-year/80,000 warranty on the batteries and electric motor system.

http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/dependability-ratings-by-brand/

Yachtzee
02-07-2012, 01:36 AM
There's a difference in saying that the Volt doesn't meet your needs as saying that it's not as worthwhile of a car as a TDI, even at the same price point. Perhaps your daily commute is considerably longer than 20 miles. The majority of commuting Americans do live within 20 miles, and the Volt is potentially a much better fit for their lifestyle.

Your second point about reliability and early adoption is true. There is more inherent risk with any technology that is not fully matured. And for that reason, a TDI may be the better choice today. But it's not necessarily correct to assume that a VW will be inherently more reliable than a Chevy, at least according to JD Power. And to Chevy's credit, they have a 10-year/80,000 warranty on the batteries and electric motor system.

http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/dependability-ratings-by-brand/

I'm not saying the Volt isn't a worthwhile car. My main point is that the price Chevy's charging for a car geared toward commuters is way too steep when there are other car makers putting out less expensive options that get good gas mileage and are more useful.

After watching the Super Bowl ads, I checked out the info on the Sonic just because I hadn't heard much about it. It seems to be marketed toward younger buyers maybe just out of college. But when you compare it to other cars marketed toward that age group, there just seem to be more attractive options out there. After the government bailout, I would think GM would make more of an effort to draw in buyers of smaller passenger cars, but it still seems to be stuck in "sell more trucks and SUVs" mode.

It's a shame, because I grew up in a family that bought GM. My first car was a 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix and I loved it. I've owned Pontiacs, an Olds and Chevys. I went away from GM in the late '90s because of reliability issues but came back and bought a G6 with my wife in '05. Of course GM got rid of Pontiac and the G6. I want GM to sell me a car, but when I look at what they're putting out, I just don't get excited. And my GM buying family members all switched to Hondas years ago. Heck, I never would have bought a Ford, but looking at what's out there right now, Ford has some nice models.

Slyder
02-07-2012, 09:30 AM
Why would states pay for the upkeep of plugs? I don't even know what "upkeep for plugs" means....

The Leaf is pretty much a commuter car. The plug is in my garage. 1875 gas free miles now.

The same reason they pay for road maintenance and infrastructure. Things wear out and need replaced. For the Chevy Volt to truely become a viable option for many people the state will have to install some means for people to conveniently charge the vehicles while they are at work or whatever. Right now a large portion of the nation the Volt is not a feasible vehicle. Why?

It costs significantly more than other gas only options.
The mileage wouldn't cover my daily commute and thus still burning gas.
If you don't have a handy outlet then you are going to have to pay for something run into the garage.

Like I said in my previous post it maybe feasible for people who live in major metropolitan areas where everything is within a 10 mile radius but 50 miles range is NOT worth the extra 10-20k for me to spend when there is no other means to charge it besides when I get home.

Not to mention every time the car dealers come up with some new technology it makes it even more expensive on repairs because they know the dealers are the only ones who could repair the problems with a vehicle when it first comes out.

jojo
02-08-2012, 07:36 AM
Is the future really electric? It seems like the technology is limiting. I don't think America will catch onto a plug and drive system. It's going to take something like hydrogen or a substance that hasn't been invented yet for the auto industry to take that next step, in my opinion.

Free cold fusion, baby....

pedro
02-08-2012, 11:12 AM
The same reason they pay for road maintenance and infrastructure. Things wear out and need replaced. For the Chevy Volt to truely become a viable option for many people the state will have to install some means for people to conveniently charge the vehicles while they are at work or whatever. Right now a large portion of the nation the Volt is not a feasible vehicle. Why?

It costs significantly more than other gas only options.
The mileage wouldn't cover my daily commute and thus still burning gas.
If you don't have a handy outlet then you are going to have to pay for something run into the garage.

Like I said in my previous post it maybe feasible for people who live in major metropolitan areas where everything is within a 10 mile radius but 50 miles range is NOT worth the extra 10-20k for me to spend when there is no other means to charge it besides when I get home.

Not to mention every time the car dealers come up with some new technology it makes it even more expensive on repairs because they know the dealers are the only ones who could repair the problems with a vehicle when it first comes out.

Not sure why the State would be responsible for charging stations. Many grocery stores, parking garages, and hotels have them here in Oregon

Spazzrico
02-08-2012, 11:41 AM
Free cold fusion, baby....

Mr. Fusion, baby...

Slyder
02-08-2012, 12:28 PM
Not sure why the State would be responsible for charging stations. Many grocery stores, parking garages, and hotels have them here in Oregon

You won't get that kind of investment in a number of states because of the lack of need. The state/fed gov is going to have to get the ball moving on an issue such as battery chargers for cars like the Volt or they are NEVER going to take off for a number of reasons.

RBA
02-08-2012, 12:29 PM
Not sure why the State would be responsible for charging stations. Many grocery stores, parking garages, and hotels have them here in Oregon

Aren't they doing this with partnership with the government? I thought I read that most of the cost is provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

pedro
02-08-2012, 12:32 PM
You won't get that kind of investment in a number of states because of the lack of need. The state/fed gov is going to have to get the ball moving on an issue such as battery chargers for cars like the Volt or they are NEVER going to take off for a number of reasons.

I don't see that ever happening. Nor do I think it'll be necessary. It's more likely IMO that the auto manufacturers will co-op with private businesses to place charging stations.

pedro
02-08-2012, 12:35 PM
Aren't they doing this with partnership with the government? I thought I read that most of the cost is provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

I don't know.

This is the company that is doing them here

http://www.ecotality.com/index.php

pedro
02-08-2012, 12:39 PM
I'm wrong...looks like the government is involved.

ECOtality is the project manager of The EV Project and will oversee the installation of approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities and metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. The project will provide an EV infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs. The project is a public-private partnership, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant and made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). For more information about The EV Project, please visit www.theevproject.com.

texasdave
02-22-2012, 05:25 PM
Someone put a commercial charging station at the front of my neighborhood and I have never seen it used. Of course, I highly doubt there will be any electric cars in this run-down neighborhood for quite some time. This location, location, location is unthinkable.

texasdave
02-22-2012, 05:26 PM
Tesla Motors are having a bit of a problem.

http://jalopnik.com/5887265/tesla-motors-devastating-design-problem

Sea Ray
02-22-2012, 06:16 PM
Any car that has a $40K part is a gamble to own. As I recall, the battery is basically the entire floor of the car, so what if you're in a minor accident that damages the battery? What's it going to cost to insure that car?

Let's hope Tesla doesn't turn into another Solyndra. It doesn't look good right now.

I still don't see what the advantage is in paying $40-50K for a mostly electric vehicle when you can buy a Toyota Prius for $24K that gets 50 MPG. Why not save $15K or so and cough up the money to buy two gallons of gas for every 100 miles you drive?

Eric_the_Red
02-22-2012, 10:47 PM
Apparently you can put a gun rack in a Volt. And you can put a bullet through the battery without it exploding.

http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/chevrolet-volt-owner-shows-newt-gingrich-put-gun-215713371.html

JaxRed
02-22-2012, 11:11 PM
I'm up to 2500 gasoline free miles now...... :)

Dom Heffner
02-27-2012, 08:23 AM
Any car that has a $40K part is a gamble to own. As I recall, the battery is basically the entire floor of the car, so what if you're in a minor accident that damages the battery? What's it going to cost to insure that car?

Let's hope Tesla doesn't turn into another Solyndra. It doesn't look good right now.

I still don't see what the advantage is in paying $40-50K for a mostly electric vehicle when you can buy a Toyota Prius for $24K that gets 50 MPG. Why not save $15K or so and cough up the money to buy two gallons of gas for every 100 miles you drive?

I tell my wife this all the time.

dougdirt
02-27-2012, 01:54 PM
I tell my wife this all the time.

Make a powerpoint presentation. Sometimes that helps get the point across better. Or maybe some nice posterboard layouts with charts and graphs?

LoganBuck
02-27-2012, 02:54 PM
Make a powerpoint presentation. Sometimes that helps get the point across better. Or maybe some nice posterboard layouts with charts and graphs?

You aren't married are you? I tried that once, on the topic of using the clothesline instead of the dryer. It didn't go well.

dougdirt
02-27-2012, 05:17 PM
You aren't married are you? I tried that once, on the topic of using the clothesline instead of the dryer. It didn't go well.

Absolutely not, though not exactly by choice either. But I said that as a complete joke.

Roy Tucker
02-28-2012, 10:07 AM
Make a powerpoint presentation. Sometimes that helps get the point across better. Or maybe some nice posterboard layouts with charts and graphs?

I have a standard slide that I use in these situations:

Current decision status:
- I'm wrong.
- You're right.

Marital relations:
- Resuming.

texasdave
02-28-2012, 02:04 PM
You aren't married are you? I tried that once, on the topic of using the clothesline instead of the dryer. It didn't go well.

Yes. She's got the power and I always get the point. :)

Dom Heffner
02-28-2012, 11:00 PM
Make a powerpoint presentation. Sometimes that helps get the point across better. Or maybe some nice posterboard layouts with charts and graphs?

Hahahaha...no, won't be doing that in the near future...she finds me funny, but not that funny...:)

dougdirt
02-28-2012, 11:11 PM
Hahahaha...no, won't be doing that in the near future...she finds me funny, but not that funny...:)

Probably a good thing since I imagine you like sleeping in your own bed.

Newport Red
03-02-2012, 04:33 PM
GM temporarily halts production.

http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/automobiles/213889-gm-halting-production-of-chevy-volt

texasdave
03-02-2012, 04:35 PM
General Motors has temporarily suspended production of its Volt electric car, the company announced Friday.GM, which is based in Detroit, announced to employees at one of its facilities that it was halting production of the beleaguered electric car for five weeks and temporarily laying off 1,300 employees. The laid-off employees will be rehired April 23rd, when GM resumes production of the Volt.

RBA
04-03-2012, 07:57 PM
Buoyed by record monthly sales of its Chevy Volt hybrid electric plug-in car in March, General Motors will resume production of the Volt at the Detroit Hamtramck plant one week early, the United Auto Workers told TPM on Tuesday night.

“They’re adding a week of production back in,” said Don LaForest, the chairman of the UAW’s bargaining committee at the Detroit Hamtramck plant, where the Volt is manufactured, in a phone interview.

http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/04/gm-will-restart-chevy-volt-production-one-week-early-uaw-reveals.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

jojo
04-13-2012, 01:42 PM
A symbol of conservative hate?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2017926833_harrop09.html?prmid=obinsite


This is the car that all right-thinking right-wingers demand we hate. In their political prism, the Volt has everything going against it: It's beloved by environmentalists for getting 61 miles to the gallon. It's assembled by unionized workers at General Motors' Detroit-Hamtramck plant. It enjoys government subsidies intended to encourage the production of fuel-efficient cars (started actually by H.W.'s oldest son, former President George W. Bush).

Yachtzee
04-14-2012, 01:37 AM
A symbol of conservative hate?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2017926833_harrop09.html?prmid=obinsite

I don't get why conservatives should hate the Volt because it gets good gas mileage or is made at a US facility. Most conservatives I know, not TV gasbags but actual people who hold conservative values based on personal conviction rather than following what someone on TV or the radio says, prefer to buy American and like the idea of good gas mileage because they live frugally. I'd say the conservative argument against the Volt would be that it is too expensive to buy and maintain to justify the fuel savings from a cost-benefit perspective.

improbus
04-14-2012, 08:22 AM
There are several other issues keeping us from getting only electric cars anytime soon:

People like me who travel long distances, but don't fly. Electric cars aren't going to be making 10+ hour drives anytime soon.

Sports cars. The technology simply isn't there to make it feasible to match the power of a gas powered car for anything close to an acceptable price.

Part of the point of electric cars is to preserve gasoline so that we can enjoy our sports cars running on gas for years to come.

I think the fundamental issue is that we are trying to shoehorn electric cars into our preconceived notion of a what a car currently is. We need to think of electric cars differently. They are going to be commute machines, nothing more, nothing less. They are the laptops/tablet pcs of cars. Now, that doesn't mean that we need to ditch our desktop computers (gasoline cars), but each car will have it's specific use. Gas won't be going away anytime soon, it is too useful and to entrenched in our daily society, but that doesn't mean that electric cars don't have a role to play.

Also, Everything I've heard actually point to Hydrogen fuel cells being a more workable alternative.

Slyder
04-16-2012, 09:54 PM
I don't get why conservatives should hate the Volt because it gets good gas mileage or is made at a US facility.

Me personally is that it just not efficient/effective enough for the average consumer to take advantage of and until there is something that is that market will not grow. The hybrid/electric car has a small niche right now and we chasing that niche with a ton of $ and we're broke.


Most conservatives I know, not TV gasbags but actual people who hold conservative values based on personal conviction rather than following what someone on TV or the radio says, prefer to buy American and like the idea of good gas mileage because they live frugally.

I don't have the link but someone posted that for an electric car to make the money back (in price) took something like 7 years or 180,000 miles. Someone feel free to post if they see it or something that goes against it because its been like a year since I've seen it.

That doesn't even include if something breaks on it. If something electrical breaks with the electric engine you are going to have to pay an arm and a leg to get it fixed because the only one's with the capability to fix it are the dealerships and they know it.



I'd say the conservative argument against the Volt would be that it is too expensive to buy and maintain to justify the fuel savings from a cost-benefit perspective.

See above

jojo
04-16-2012, 10:32 PM
Me personally is that it just not efficient/effective enough for the average consumer to take advantage of and until there is something that is that market will not grow. The hybrid/electric car has a small niche right now and we chasing that niche with a ton of $ and we're broke.



I don't have the link but someone posted that for an electric car to make the money back (in price) took something like 7 years or 180,000 miles. Someone feel free to post if they see it or something that goes against it because its been like a year since I've seen it.

That doesn't even include if something breaks on it. If something electrical breaks with the electric engine you are going to have to pay an arm and a leg to get it fixed because the only one's with the capability to fix it are the dealerships and they know it.



See above

Does the calculus change with $4+ gallon gas?

Slyder
04-16-2012, 10:51 PM
Does the calculus change with $4+ gallon gas?

Thats why I said its been a while since I've seen the numbers. But you're looking at anywhere from $10-25k difference in automobiles for similar size and features between gas cars and the hybrid/electric cars.

JaxRed
04-16-2012, 11:14 PM
Since someone bumped the thread.... 4800 totally gasoline free miles so far.....

oneupper
04-17-2012, 08:39 AM
Since someone bumped the thread.... 4800 totally gasoline free miles so far.....

What does your power bill look like?

Spazzrico
04-17-2012, 10:22 AM
Since someone bumped the thread.... 4800 totally gasoline free miles so far.....

It makes me salivate.

durl
04-17-2012, 12:02 PM
What does your power bill look like?

I would also like to know the answer to this question. It still costs money to make the car go.

RedsManRick
04-18-2012, 02:10 AM
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:r6EdDWpeU-0J:avt.inel.gov/pdf/fsev/costs.pdf+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjFdwbND3ppvNgQDzEW2FfdgGlNvDooVdXwPa-Hm_k2Y8yAsV_R3eYAdP5tBgcl60EhW11mA86xX5rACvZQ8S03G ysizJ73AuTY8IG8GJVj_qM7or5Mk6quSUE5Uxc9Bgfk7YBu&sig=AHIEtbRSseZgF4SZNIvQ6x8zIjNPT5JiQQ

durl
04-19-2012, 10:00 AM
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:r6EdDWpeU-0J:avt.inel.gov/pdf/fsev/costs.pdf+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjFdwbND3ppvNgQDzEW2FfdgGlNvDooVdXwPa-Hm_k2Y8yAsV_R3eYAdP5tBgcl60EhW11mA86xX5rACvZQ8S03G ysizJ73AuTY8IG8GJVj_qM7or5Mk6quSUE5Uxc9Bgfk7YBu&sig=AHIEtbRSseZgF4SZNIvQ6x8zIjNPT5JiQQ

How would the rising cost of electricity affect this graph? If fossil-fuel plants continue to disappear (as planned) and more power is supplied by renewable plants, the costs are going to inevitably rise quite steeply.

JaxRed
04-19-2012, 10:19 AM
I would also like to know the answer to this question. It still costs money to make the car go.

It has had a negligible impact on my bills. They are the same as last years. I held my breath the first couple months..... there was no noticeable difference.

I'm sure it's costing something.... but it ain't much

Spazzrico
04-19-2012, 10:42 AM
How would the rising cost of electricity affect this graph? If fossil-fuel plants continue to disappear (as planned) and more power is supplied by renewable plants, the costs are going to inevitably rise quite steeply.

Not necessarily. Renewables may cost more now, but economies of scale will continue to drive down costs in addition to whatever subsidies provided by the Gov't. Example, China through direct subsidies cratered the price of silicon (This is the reason Solyndra's product no longer has viability-they were betting on high prices because their's didn't use silicon (cylindrical copper, gallium, indium diselenide instead). Wind power costs are also falling. Also we are about to see our first new U.S. nuclear plants in decades here in SC.

paulrichjr
04-19-2012, 10:58 AM
Does the calculus change with $4+ gallon gas?

I am not sure that the numbers I am using are correct but in passing over the years I have heard the following numbers and it has caused me to not consider a Volt.

From what I have heard it costs around $1.50 per day to charge the Volt. After going around 40 miles on a charge the Volt switches to a gasoline and then only gets around 40-45 miles per gallon (again this is working off of memory so I may be wrong). That leads me to assume that you are saving around $2.50 for the first gallon. ($4 - $1.50) If you did that everyday you are saving just $900 per year. That is if you drove it everyday that many miles. Now that isn't chump change but consider that a Toyota Prius gets around 50 miles to the gallon and costs thousands less even after the tax incentive. Then you take into account that insuring a Volt is a lot more than insuring other cars that get in the 40 MPG range and you eat up even more of the $900. A Chevy Cruze would costs thousands less upfront, would be much less expensive to insure, would be no trouble to remember to charge each day, would get about the same mileage when on gasoline as the Volt and might end up costing just $900 in fuel costs per year. I can't see the benefit.

Spazzrico
04-19-2012, 11:17 AM
I am not sure that the numbers I am using are correct but in passing over the years I have heard the following numbers and it has caused me to not consider a Volt.

From what I have heard it costs around $1.50 per day to charge the Volt. After going around 40 miles on a charge the Volt switches to a gasoline and then only gets around 40-45 miles per gallon (again this is working off of memory so I may be wrong). That leads me to assume that you are saving around $2.50 for the first gallon. ($4 - $1.50) If you did that everyday you are saving just $900 per year. That is if you drove it everyday that many miles. Now that isn't chump change but consider that a Toyota Prius gets around 50 miles to the gallon and costs thousands less even after the tax incentive. Then you take into account that insuring a Volt is a lot more than insuring other cars that get in the 40 MPG range and you eat up even more of the $900. A Chevy Cruze would costs thousands less upfront, would be much less expensive to insure, would be no trouble to remember to charge each day, would get about the same mileage when on gasoline as the Volt and might end up costing just $900 in fuel costs per year. I can't see the benefit.

This makes sense if you are commuting more than 40-50 miles round trip on your commute. Anything less, you score with a Volt. Big time. Most Americans are in the score range (http://www.bts.gov/publications/omnistats/volume_03_issue_04/html/figure_02.html).

Spazzrico
04-19-2012, 11:21 AM
It has had a negligible impact on my bills. They are the same as last years. I held my breath the first couple months..... there was no noticeable difference.

I'm sure it's costing something.... but it ain't much

Quick question...car batteries are known to take a beating with heat. Any sense yet if heat saps the charge? I'm guessing it hasn't been hot enough yet.

JaxRed
04-19-2012, 11:21 AM
I think the Volt gets about 25 miles a gallon in "gas" mode. If you are driving a lot of miles a day, the Volt doesn't make sense. But what if 95% of your driving was to work and back and it was 10 miles each way?

Now you are driving to work and back and using no gas....ever. And you have the freedom to occasionally take longer trips.

For me, the equation was slightly different in the Leaf. It was (officially) 73 miles range. So you could drive 36 miles each way. (In reality, if you drive highway, at highway speeds it will be less, and if you drive "regular" roads at 45-50 it will be higher).

I didn't want a hybrid that still had a gas engine with all the maintenance it requires. I wanted a "pure" electric, and was willing to accept the limitations, because I have a second car. If I need to take a long trip (over 70 miles) I take it.

JaxRed
04-19-2012, 11:23 AM
Quick question...car batteries are known to take a beating with heat. Any sense yet if heat saps the charge? I'm guessing it hasn't been hot enough yet.

One of the first big Leaf deployment locations has been Arizona. Haven't heard any talk of that. Have heard that COLD weather operations are a major drain.

RBA
04-19-2012, 01:33 PM
EPA has Volt gas only MPG to be 37 MPG. Other test have it 30 to 40 mpg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt#EPA_fuel_economy_testing

medford
04-19-2012, 03:31 PM
Something I heard on the radio, talking about Ford's all electric car (no gas option) that Men's Health was using as a test run across the country and working out stopping points, was that a charge cost $2.50ish and was good for 80-100 miles.

I commute 37 miles each way, so at that price, it would cost me roughly $2.50 every day in electic, or $12.50 for 5 days. Throw in a little on the weekend (we generally use my wife's car on the weekend so its not totally fair, but I also go to meetings and what not for work, so I do more than just commute back and forth) and we're talking $15 a week.

Currently, I spend around $50 a week, meaning the Ford version they were talking about would save me roughly $35 a week. 52 weeks a year gives you $1,820 in saving a year.

I'll assume repair/maintance costs are on par (I hear that is not true, but don't know for sure) and if you assume an ownership of 7 years, you'd have a 7 year savings of $12,740 over your ownership period. Then the next question, how do those cars hold up over 7-10 years, which would translate into their resale value and what they're worth when you're looking for your next one.

I think what this tells me, is that it will take $5 a gallon gasoline over an extended period for an all electric car to make sense financially. Of course, I expect the technology to improve over time. I'd also like to know what the general opinion of these cars are in poor winter weather, do any of them have all wheel drive? How do they hold up with a family of 4 or more that are hauling around sporting equipment from game to game?

JaxRed
04-19-2012, 05:07 PM
None of them are 4 wheel drive. And Like I said, their range is reduced in cold weather. So since you are at close to max range in regular weather, an EV would not be a good fit for your driving. Unless....... you have a place where you can charge (120V) at work. (hopefully for free). Then it would be awesome.

They would not be great for hauling around a family of four (or more) and stuff. The Leaf will be the roomiest of the Leaf, Focus, Miev, Volt, and storage in the back is just fair. 95% of people that would buy an EV need a backup car. You'd need your backup car to be the "kid hauler".

Repair and Maintenance should be far less on an "pure" EV (not a Volt). Electric Motors are far more reliable and simpler than a gasoline engine.

And.... no oil changes, no timing belts, no tune ups, no air filters, no transmission fluid, no exhaust system.... the list of things it doesn't require just goes on and on.

And I just went over 5,000 miles !!

JaxRed
04-19-2012, 05:29 PM
EPA has Volt gas only MPG to be 37 MPG. Other test have it 30 to 40 mpg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt#EPA_fuel_economy_testing

That was better than I remembered. Thanks

Caveat Emperor
02-04-2013, 03:14 PM
Bump.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/04/us-autos-electric-hydrogen-idUSBRE91304Z20130204

The tepid response to EVs also pushed Nissan's high-profile chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, perhaps the industry's most outspoken proponent of battery cars, to announce in December a major strategic shift toward more mainstream gasoline-electric hybrids, which overcome many of the shortcomings of pure EVs.

The move was widely seen as a tacit acknowledgement by Ghosn that his all-or-nothing, multibillion-dollar bet on EVs is falling far short of his ambition to sell hundreds of thousands of battery-powered Nissan Leafs.

Instead, Nissan plans to follow rival Toyota Motor Co, the world's largest purveyor of hybrids, which now is poised to leapfrog pure EVs altogether to pursue what might be the next big green-tech breakthrough: pollution- and petroleum-free fuel-cell cars that convert hydrogen to electricity.

The article brings up an interesting point -- fleet fuel economy standards are going to force either more EVs on the road (which the public, to this point, has shown little or no desire to own) or a new technological breakthrough before 2020, or most automakers are going to be paying pretty hefty fines in the US and EU.

JaxRed
02-04-2013, 11:08 PM
I'll write up my year long review tomorrow.